DRIVECAST™ - Penelope Ave.
- Queens, New York -
“The advantages of DRIVECAST were clear to CAC, no vibration, no disruption, no spoils, no intrusive specialty installation equipment thus saving the trees that line Penelope Ave...”
by Keith Dolan
DRIVECAST™ displacement pile proved to be the perfect solution for the Penelope Ave. sewer construction project in Queens, New York. Initially the construction plans called for continuous flight auger (CFA) piles to be used for the new, large box culvert sewers in the residential area of Queens where Penelope Ave is located.
This project presented many challenges. The new box culvert sewers are very large and Penelope Ave is a densely packed residential neighborhood. These sewers require a high capacity deep foundation. CFAs need large drilling equipment for installation. The impact of this type of construction can be extensive. It places a great burden on infrastructure; powerlines need to be either deenergized or taken down. Numerous old growth trees that line the street are in jeopardy of being cut down. Plus, the brick & mortar residential structures set close to the avenue are vulnerable to disruption caused during CFA installation.
Project contractor CAC Industries of Long Island City, NY looked to CHANCE Civil Construction and their newly developed DRIVECAST high capacity displacement pile for the solution to these numerous challenges. Although it initially appears similar to an ending bearing helical pile, DRIVECAST is a displacement pile. Its patented innovation lies in the “paddle” structure which creates a compacted, ridged column. DRIVECAST uses a gravity-fed grout reservoir to create the full length grout column. The side wall friction of the fully grouted column creates the high capacity pile.
The advantages of DRIVECAST were clear to CAC, no vibration, no disruption, no spoils, no intrusive specialty installation equipment thus saving the trees that line Penelope Ave.
CAC along with Hubbell/CHANCE and engineering firm GZA brought DRIVECAST to the New York City Dept. of Design and Construction (DDC) for approval of the project. As with most innovations, the approval process may not be a “straight line”.
The initial tests showed the benefits and advantages of DRIVECAST although the organic silt, peat and clay proved challenging with the initial design. Upon further improvements to the displacement assembly, the contractor was able to achieve consistent grout column through the challenging organic silt, peat and clay.
After a series of tests the 8-inch diameter DRIVECAST pile was approved. The exhumed test piles, showed the grout take extended to the full length the pile. At subsequent meetings with the DDC, CAC, GZA and the “DRIVECAST team” at CHANCE a 4.5-inch version in addition to the 8-inch version of DRIVECAST was approved. Additionally, the New York City Dept. of Environmental Protection and NYC Dept. of Parks approved using DRIVECAST due to its low impact: no spoils, no vibration and no intrusive specialty crane installation rigs.
The high rate of installation averaged 25 piles a day. In total, there were 1055 piles installed. The majority of the piles were DRIVECAST 8-inch diameter piles with 4.5-inch piles rounding out the 1055 total piles installed. The average DRIVECAST pile depth was 12 feet compared to 50 feet if CFAs had been used.
It’s the tangible and real-world savings of using DRIVECAST on Penelope Ave Project that truly defines the level of success. It’s calculated that City of New York saved over $3.8 millions, just by choosing DRIVECAST (see insert). The city saves millions and the Penelope Ave. residents have a new sewer system that will last decades without sacrificing the peaceful neighborhood they’ve created.
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Earth Anchoring Suppliers, LLC
19 Trenton-Lakewood Road
Clarksburg, New Jersey 08510
183 Locust Avenue - No. 483
West Long Branch, New Jersey 07764
CHANCE® Civil Construction is a division of Hubbell Power Systems, Inc., the international leader in earth anchoring. CHANCE and ATLAS® brands are used worldwide in a variety of deep foundation applications.
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